Still Keen at Our Core

North Rockies

northrockiesfieldteam , Friday 12th February, 2021 4:40PM

It felt pretty warm out in Core Lodge at -17C considering the freezing temps we've had the last few days, even though we didn't get much sun today. The riding conditions were quite firm as there hasn't been any new snow for a long time but that made travel fast and easy at least! We dug down in a few different places, in the alpine, tree line and down in the trees. We found a prominent weak layer of surface hoar or facets down around 20cm. This layer was very reactive in our tests, often failing while just cutting the block and isolating it for a compression or extended column test - but we were unable to get it to fail when performing sled cuts on test slopes. This layer seems to be prevalent across the North Rockies region and will likely remain a problem as we get additional loading over it in subsequent storms. There is a second layer of weak sugary facets down around 30-40cm that was more stubborn in our tests but remains on our radar as a possible concern. As usual for this area, there was a lot of recent scouring by prevailing winds right to rocks with thick wind-loaded pockets on the lee sides.

Snow conditions were: Hard, Wind affected. Weather conditions were: Cold, Cloudy. We rode: Alpine slopes, Open trees. Riding quality was ok.

Source: Avalanche Canada MIN